The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Student Government Association (SGA) has big plans and goals for the 2023-2024 school year. 

The members of the executive branch, commonly known as The Big Three, are President Colby Hebert, Vice President Karessa De La Paz and Treasurer Gabe Cupstid. Since last November, they have been working on what they can do to improve campus and student life at UL Lafayette.

Colby Hebert shared that they have met with several people and organizations to improve UL Lafayette. 

Some of the meetings have included meeting with Mayor-President Josh Guillory to increase sustainability efforts and civic and community engagement, the Lafayette Police Department to discuss safety and the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jaimie Hebert discussing academic accountability.

De La Paz led the donut drop-in on the first day of school. They managed to hand out 24,000 donut holes to the student body across campus.

“It was a lot of fun to welcome students with a smile, get them knowing what SGA is all about. We’re all about the students,” De La Paz said.

Cupstid shared how they use student fees and plan to improve.

“We are taking a lot of steps to make sure that we’re utilizing the student fees that we receive every semester well by keeping better track of them, but also providing resources to students,” Cupstid said.

These funds are used for many different things such as conferences for student organizations and sponsorships that SGA provides. 

Cupstid also shared that in the spring semester they were close to 100% utilization of funds. They plan to continue that trend and close the gap this semester.

Cupstid is partnering with Chief Justice Buddy LeBlanc to conduct an audit of self-assessed student fees. This will ensure funds are still being used adequately along with making sure the organizations are still meeting the expectations of students.

Executive Chief of Staff Kate Hughes shared details of a collaboration with One Acadiana on a quality of life survey. One Acadiana wants to know what they can do to ensure students feel comfortable on campus, as well as in Lafayette. In this process, SGA has been a voice for students by making sure the survey is ready for when students receive it.

Colby Hebert shared that in November they recognized they had ambitious goals and achieving all of them would be very difficult with three people. Hughes as Chief of Staff has been an integral part of their team in keeping the three of them in order and making sure nothing falls through. They throw around the phrase “the Big Four” because they feel Hughes is crucial to their team.

SGA encourages students to get involved. They serve as the voice of students on campus and want students to know they have a say in things too.

An easy way for students to take action is to join in on SGA’s meetings. On Mondays at 5:00pm, meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held in room 209 in the Student Union. Senate Chair Cade Roy shared “any student can come sit in the back and be there at our meetings.”

Hebert said “We really want people to be engaged. We really want people to understand that it is not just their elected college delegation that can be advocating for students, it is every student should be each other’s advocate. We want everyone to really buy into what our vision is and that’s just increased engagement and a louder student voice for advocacy.”

Hebert continued “I think we are all in these positions because we feel like one of our strengths is lending our voice to those that don’t feel like they have one. What we really want to do is empower and inspire every single student to kind of get out of their chair and become their own advocate. In the meantime, we’re happy and more than thrilled to fill that gap until we reach that point.”